Lifting Your Aspiring Enterprise From The Bottom Rung

Being an entrepreneur is easy, but creating a successful business from scratch is hard. You might have the motivation and determination to chase success to the ends of the earth, but so many more variables are involved with the running of a triumphant enterprise than determination and a willingness to succeed. You need a strong business head too, which comes from a combination of experience and expertise. The former can only come with time, but the latter can be learnt quickly, especially with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Your aspiring enterprise might be a small team of half a dozen and struggling to achieve any sort of success so far or perhaps it’s a big business which has slowly been slipping out of public favour, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to stay on the bottom rung forever. Any business which has achieved any form of success started as absolutely nothing once upon a time, so there’s no reason that your startup can’t flourish into a well known brand and fearsome enterprise. If you’re running out of ideas as to how you can make that a reality, however, then here are some pieces of advice to help you take your aspiring business enterprise to the next rung up the ladder in your respective industry.

Improve your brand.

New and old businesses alike often fail not through the products or services they offer, but through how they market those services. Branding is absolutely essential to a successful business, as consumers see dozens if not hundreds of companies offering the same or near-identical goods to one another, so the brand and the message a business projects is the only way to distinguish one business from the next.

If you’re wondering what more your business could be doing to carve a strong brand out for itself or simply reinvent the old brand it has had for years, then you need to be looking at the market and its demands, rather than relying on the internal ideas of what you want the business to be. The customer is always right, in this sense. Looking to competitors is one thing, but staying ahead of competitors is quite another. You should be using SEO techniques to rank more highly than other websites in Google results pages, for example; this will ensure potential customers see you before your competitors.

Better communication with employees.

Perhaps rapid growth or success of your business led to its downfall. Often, a business which doesn’t adapt when it grows in size fails because it isn’t communicating with employees across all sectors or all branches of the business. If you look into the definitive guide to emergency notification systems, you might find that this solution would help your business communicate on a widespread and immediate basis in the event of natural disasters or simply an internal IT outage.

The point is that you need to be communicating with your employees about projects and the possibility of threats to your business. Planning and preparation needs to involve all workers and not just the senior members of the company. Every employee needs to understand the objectives of the business, and they need to be working towards clearly defined, motivating goals; both personal and collective.

Update the company’s objective.

Perhaps, if your business has been running for many years, you’ve simply lost touch with the market. It might be time to look at your business’ overall objective and ask yourself whether it addresses problems that consumers currently face. You need to be the solution to your target market, and you can’t be that if you’re offering a service or a product that nobody needs.

Here’s How You Can Track Expenses Effectively and Avoid Going Overdraft

If you are struggling with managing your finances so as to avoid getting into debt, you are not alone. Being in your bank account overdraft can be helpful when you really need the facility, especially for short-term borrowing or in cases of emergency as a last resort. However, you can run into problems when you start relying too much on it. Going over your limit does not simply mean you have to repay what you owe, it also means that there are extra charges that are incurred. Effectively tracking your expenses can help you keep your finances in check so that you do not go overdraft. Here’s how:

  • Keep Track of Your Spending

A sure way of effectively keeping track of your spending, is by itemizing your spending from time to time, and identifying areas where you can reduce expenses. If you find areas where you spent needlessly, like a gym membership you do not use, monthly subscription for magazines that you do not read and so on, it is advisable to cut them off.

Take a look at your card payments, withdrawals and so on. What was the money used for and where do the expenses leave your account balance? Understanding your overdraft is another way to keep track of your spending. You have to constantly know the state of your bank account so that you know when you are approaching your limit. Although you do not have much of a problem when you have access to authorized overdraft where there is an agreed borrowing limit, it is even worse if the overdraft is unauthorized, and no prior agreement has been made between you and your bank. Even so, it is always safer to manage your spending in such a way that you do not need this credit option in the first place.

  • Monitor Your Budget

It is easy to go over your carefully drawn out budget if you do not consciously monitor it. You need to be sure that you can afford the expenses you have listed.

When you spend within a budget, you are better able to reduce the possibility of spending without first thinking about it, so that you do not spend spontaneously. Although it takes a lot of discipline, consistency with monitoring your budget helps you save more, helps you know where your money is going and keeps you debt-free.

  • Make Use of Apps to Manage Your Money

There are a number of online tools and applications that can help you with getting your personal finance management right. A major challenge for many people with effectively tracking personal expenses is that they sometimes have to manage different bank accounts and pay different bills. Keeping up can be challenging. Thankfully, there are personal finance and management apps that help.

Your Customers Are The Lifeblood Of Your Business, Take Care Of Them!

If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that there are few things more important to a business than its customers. When it comes to businesses, there’s no shortage of debate as to what it most important and what you should be focussing on, but there’s no denying that you should never lose sight of your customers. Of course, it’s not just a matter of figuring out how to squeeze every possible penny out of them; you should constantly be trying to figure out how to give your customers the best possible experience with your business. With that in mind, here are some ways to make sure that you’re really taking care of your customers.

Be flexible

Flexibility is the key to any successful modern business. Back in an age when you a customer had limited options as to which businesses they could interact with, there was some value in having a single thing that your business did and doing it well. But now customers have more options that they could ever possibly use. They can find any number of products with any number of purchasing options without ever leaving their home. You’ve got to be able to build your business around the fact that, if they can’t get what they want from you, customers can easily go somewhere else. This means that you should offer as many ways to interact with your business as possible. You may want to offer e-commerce options so that your customers aren’t limited to just your physical store, or you may want to allow them to pay for products in their own time with finance options. Consumer finance is a great way to show customers that they always have options when it comes to your business. You can find out more about consumer finance here. The worst thing that you can do is to make your customers feel trapped or limited because there’s nothing stopping them simply going elsewhere if that happens.

Connect with them directly

Thanks to the rise of social media, it’s never been easier for businesses to interact with customers directly. Where marketing used to be based around connecting with as many people as possible, it’s now possible to focus your attention on individual customers. This kind of personal interaction is a fantastic way to make your customers feel emotionally connected to your business. Rather than just feeling like a face in a crowd, your customers can feel as though they are important to you on an individual level. The great thing about doing this on social media is that it’s a public space so other customers can see you doing this, which is only going to improve the way that they feel about your business as well.

Show your appreciation

Photo credit: Nick Youngson

Without your customers, your business would simply fall apart, so why not show your appreciation for that every once in awhile? Rather than exclusively offering rewards to new customers, why not set up some kind of loyalty system so that long-standing customers are rewarded for staying with you for long periods of time. Even something as simple as calling up your customers to check how they’re getting on with your product or if there’s something that you could do to improve is going to go a long way to show them that you care about and appreciate them.

How Technology Can Transform Your Firm’s Finances

A business that doesn’t use technology is going to fail. The industry is so reliant on software programs these days that it is almost impossible to survive without one. The right tech will improve every area of the company, even if it doesn’t seem like that is the case. Accounting is one particular area where technology can have a huge impact, and these are the reasons why.

Cuts Costs

With the introduction of technology, there is no need for a company to hire an accountant. Accountants, although very helpful, are expensive even if they do save money in the long run. In 2017, it’s possible for a firm to have their cake and eat it as they get all the expert benefits without forking out a fortune. For example, a software program can deal with everything from tax issues to ensuring the business always has cash flow. Then, you can put the resulting money back into the company to boost other areas that need help. Technology cuts costs and improves the business as a whole? That’s something that won’t both a boss.

Make Smarter Decisions

Business software is very intelligent, and it is on your side. So, as long as you are clever enough to decipher the data, you can be smart too. Hurray! All it takes for a business to benefit from greater intelligence is use the information at hand. For example, if the program uses a better way to deal with invoice factoring, you should take that on board. Not only is it vital for the financial aspect of business, but it can help other parts of the firm.

Keep Records Up To Date

Physical records are annoying because they are so hard to organise. There is too much paper flying around to get a grip on them, and it causes problems. The main problem occurs when the taxman calls and asks for your records. If they aren’t up to date, they will penalise the company and maybe even the people in charge. Digital records don’t need anything but a quick look over because the software does all the hard work. A financial program can also spot issues and point them out before it is too late. For instance, the program might see that there is a bill to pay but not enough money in the account. If so, it will notify you so that you can make the necessary changes.

 

Tighter Control

What does all of the above provide? It provides a tighter grip on your finances. When the records are in order, and you have the ability to make smarter decisions, you’re in charge. There is no need to pander to anyone else because you can do it all at the click of a button, and that is great news for a boss. Outsourcing is ideal, but it has its pitfalls. With technology, you get all the benefits of outsourcing but without having to delegate power. Now that is a nice thought.

There you have it – that is how tech affects a company’s finances. So, are you going to embrace it or leave it out in the cold?

The Family Business: Sensible Solutions for Parents Who Want to Work with Their Kids

Running a family business can be tricky, especially if you are running it from home, or you have to have your young kids with you at work. You certainly don’t need them running in and out, but you also don’t want them sitting on the sidelines being bored. What you need is to give them a balance of fun activities and ways they can help you in your work while learning about the family business. Here are some tips to help you.

Let Technology help you: With the popularity of today’s smartphones and tablets, technology is already a big part of your family and business life. Why not let it help you keep your kids occupied while you’re handling the family business? They can have fun with it and learn about business at the same time. For example, for young kids a coloring app is the perfect solution when they’re getting antsy, so check out this mandala coloring book app. For older kids, you can download fun games like these, which let them have a go at starting and running their own business.

Let Them Get Crafty

Make some floor space in your building and cover it with newspaper, then let your kids paint and get messy. It’ll keep them busy for hours. When they’re done, hang their artwork on the office walls. Don’t forget to let them help you with the cleaning up; that can be fun too.

Have Toys On Hand

If you have room, set up a special play corner for when your children are at a ‘business’. This could be a playhouse or play store, or a craft corner. Keep it busy with lots of activities to do. You could even set it up to mimic your own business that way your kids can pretend to be doing what you do.

Take Breaks When You Can

Every day is a busy day when you’re running your own business, but it’s good for your physical and mental health to take short breaks now and again, so why not use this time to spend with your kids? If lunchtime is coming up, plan an outing with them: sandwiches in the park, lunch at a nearby café or maybe a quick trip to the local museum. If they know they have a treat coming up, they’re less likely to disturb you in the meantime.

Stock Up On Books

Take your kids to the local library and let them pick enough books to last them for a few days. You may even be able to drop them off at the library for an hour or two for story time. There’s also the chance that they’ll meet other kids there they know and get invited for a play date.

When you want to work with your kids around, these are good ideas to follow so they don’t get under your feet. As they get older, you can start getting them to help out with the family business.

 

 

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